It’s common knowledge the Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the least active teams in free agency year-to-year. Speaking over on Trib Live Radio this morning, general manager Kevin Colbert shed light on what compels the team to be more active in the few cases they have made a “splash” signing.
“When we feel we have a specific need, specific hole, and we don’t feel we have somebody in the pipeline ready to step up into that role and we’re not confident the draft, or the opportunity to draft a player at a certain position will present itself, that’s usually when we’ve stepped up and signed a James Farrior, Jeff Hartings, and Mike Mitchell.”
Mitchell was the last big-money signing, signing a five year, $25 million deal before the start of the 2014 season.
It’s worth noting this because though Colbert said he is interested in bringing in secondary help from the outside, free agency, he again reiterated how deep the defensive class is in the draft.
“And again, we’re always measuring what is available in free agency with what is available in the draft. And the draft is shaping as a defensive draft in the secondary positions. Both safety and corner. They’re strong, which is encouraging to us. I think we’ll have a lot of options both in free agency as well as the draft. ”
Colbert is on the money with those comments. This year’s defensive line is stacked and there a ton of interesting secondary prospects. Many we’ve already covered, from Eli Apple to Mackensie Alexander, and Darian Thompson, all potential first round options. Of course, that depth and strength could allow the team to address another position and wait an extra round before targeting the secondary.
Perhaps with the team short on draft picks, the Steelers trade down into the early second, pick up a highly rated safety, and collect a mid-round pick to offset the ones given up in the Brandon Boykin and Josh Scobee deals. That is an interesting topic we’re sure to explore more in-depth later in the draft process.